Syrian Refugees in Lebanon Exceed 800,000


FAR FROM HOME Syrian refugee children in front of a collective center in Lebanon.--UNHCR
FAR FROM HOME Syrian refugee children in front of a collective center in Lebanon.–UNHCR


BEIRUT/DAMASCUS, Oct 28 — The number of Syrians who have fled their war-torn country to neighboring Lebanon has exceeded 800,000, the latest UN refugee agency report said Sunday.

While more than 713,000 refugees in Lebanon have been registered, over 87,000 are still waiting to complete their registration process, Xinhua quoted the UN high commissioner of refugees as saying.

Thousands of refugees have been crossing the border to come to Lebanon, the report added.

More than 8,000 Syrian babies were born in Lebanon since March 2011, said the report, adding many of them may not be eligible to receive proper identity cards.

Lebanon has repeatedly called on the international community to help it cope with the large influx of Syrian refugees.

Meanwhile Syria has submitted an initial declaration of its chemical weapon program, including a general plan of their destruction, the Organisation of the Prohibition of the Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said Sunday.

“The Syrian Arab Republic submitted to the OPCW its formal initial declaration covering its chemical weapons program,” the OPCW said in a statement, Xinhua reported.

It added that the document from Syria includes a general plan of destruction for consideration by the OPCW executive council.

“Syria’s submission is in line with the deadline set by the OPCW Executive Council in its decision of Sep 27, 2013 requiring a complete initial declaration by Oct 27, 2014.

“Such declarations provide the basis on which plans are devised for a systematic, total and verified destruction of declared chemical weapons and production facilities,” the statement said.

The United Nations Security Council said the OPCW will help Syria destroy its chemical weapons by mid-2014. The mission will be expanded with more investigators arriving in the unrest-torn country by Nov 1.–IANS


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